When Debbie Cardone’s husband Vincent sent flowers home, it made her feel appreciated. However, when Debbie read the note, she discovered that the bouquet was not for her. It turned out, in fact, that Vincent had been splitting his affections between his wife and someone else.
The Cardone family hail from Palm City in Florida, and they consist of mom Debbie, dad Vincent, their daughter Lily, son Vincent Jr. and dog Sebastian. However, in early 2017, Vincent was working away in the Middle East, while Lily was a freshman at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
That meant that for most of the time, Debbie was presumably left in charge of the dog. To make matters worse, Sebastian had dealt with some health issues lately; in particular, he had previously undergone surgery on one of the anterior cruciate ligaments in his legs.
It fell to Debbie, then, to oversee the ten-year-old bulldog’s recovery at home. And being the pampered pooch that he was, Sebastian had seemingly taken to milking every single moment of his recuperation.
In an interview with ABC News in 2017, Debbie explained, “I took [Sebastian] to the vet. And of course that little bugger was able to walk across the parking lot like it was no big deal. But at the house, he won’t leave the couch.”
Debbie even went so far as to construct a bespoke contraption for Sebastian to aid him in getting out of the house. “I made [Sebastian] a little doggy wheelchair,” the mom explained. “I pop him on that, and I then wheel him to the backyard. It’s been a nightmare.”
But despite Sebastian’s apparent insistence on being waited on hand and foot, Debbie was able to see the funny side. “He’s like a stuffed animal; he doesn’t want to move,” she said. “If I could feed him grapes, he would probably eat them. He’s enjoying all this ‘bring everything to me’ attitude.”
Still, even if Debbie’s obvious good humor helped her through, it may have been tough caring for Sebastian alone. And with her husband Vincent so far away, she likely felt a little lonely. So, when some flowers arrived at Debbie’s door out of the blue, they brightened her day no end.
Throughout his relationship, Vincent had often sent his wife flowers. And when the large bouquet of colorful roses turned up on Debbie’s doorstep, she therefore had no reason to believe that they weren’t for her. We can only imagine her shock, then, when she realized that she wasn’t the intended recipient.
Revealing her surprise, Debbie later said, “I thought [the flowers] were for me. I thought, ‘Aww, he’s appreciating how much work I’m doing taking care of Sebastian.’” However, that wasn’t quite the truth.
Spurned by her husband, Debbie then took to social media to shame Vincent online. Posting images of the offending flowers and the note that accompanied them on Facebook, the scorned wife revealed what had happened.
In her post, Debbie wrote, “So flowers were delivered today. My husband is very good about sending random flowers to me. I thought, ‘Oh, isn’t that nice!’… Then I read the card.” It was in the note that the intended recipient of Vincent’s flowers was revealed.
The message, which was printed in black ink on a white card, read, “Sebastian – feel better, you’ll be back in the game very soon. Love Daddy.” It turned out that Vincent had made all that effort to send flowers not to his wife – but to his beloved dog.
And the pictures Debbie shared of the flowers showed Sebastian taking a great interest in the blooms – almost as if he understood that they were for him. “[Vincent] does send me random flowers, but this time Sebastian really enjoyed them,” the understanding wife told ABC News.
Then, after Debbie posted the tale on her Facebook page, her daughter Lily couldn’t resist sharing it with a wider audience on Twitter. Alongside screenshots of her mom’s original Facebook update, the student wrote, “My dad sent flowers to my house today, and my mom thought they were for her… THINK AGAIN.”
And Lily wasn’t the only one to see the funny side of the story. After she posted the photos on Twitter, they gained close to 2,000 retweets and more than 3,700 likes. Soon enough, the flower facade had garnered international attention and made Sebastian and his family a viral sensation.
Among the reactions to Sebastian’s flowers, one Twitter user said, “Your family is so extra I absolutely cannot deal with this.” Meanwhile, another person felt inspired by Vincent’s gesture. Seemingly addressing their comment to a sibling, they wrote, “Show mom, cause I’m doing this for Bug on Valentine’s Day!”
Before long, Lily gave an interview in which she explained her relationship with the family dog. “[Sebastian is like another brother [to me],” she told BuzzFeed in 2017. The student also admitted, however, that while the whole Cardone clan loved Sebastian, the dog and her dad had a particularly special bond.
Funnily enough, this wasn’t Lily’s first brush with fame. The then 18-year-old was a budding actress and had already starred in a handful of Florida-based films. However, she was apparently more than happy to share the spotlight with Sebastian.
In a 2017 interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Lily said of the situation, “It’s crazy and funny.” She added, “[Sebastian] deserves [the attention]. He’s always been such a personality. This dog is a star. I’m happy he’s finally getting the credit he deserves.”